RUSSIA has moved short- and medium-range nuclear weapons to the
Crimean peninsula, as part of efforts to increase its military
presence in the Black Sea and create a "southern Kaliningrad",
members of the European Parliament said last week.
The claims were made in a debate on a report prepared by a
Vice-President of the European Parliament and former Defence
Minister of Romania, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, which looked at the
"strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin".
Mr Paşcu warned that Russia had begun a process of "long-term
militarisation", and was turning the Crimea into a "launch
Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP for London, said that "It is
vital that the member states of the EU work together, both within
our union and NATO, to meet what is a very real and concerning
military threat to our security."
But Martina Anderson, a Sinn Féin MEP for Northern Ireland, said
that the West's main concern was about oil-exploration rights in
the Baltic, and "the lives of the people in the Crimea are a mere
And Mike Hookem, a UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, said that
the "pain, destruction, loss, and suffering caused by the recent
fighting in the Ukraine can be directly attributed to the
expansionist policies of the European Union."
He called on the UN to intervene diplomatically to prevent a
"multi-national war in the region". If Ukraine was allowed "to take
control of its own internal affairs", he said, it could "develop
into a strong, independent, politically free, and defendable nation
that can freely trade . . . with the rest of the world.
"What Ukraine does not need is an EU or Russian puppet-master
pulling its strings."
The Council of the EU is set to renew its sanctions against
Russia when it meets in Brussels next week, to prevent their
expiring next month.